“Being accepted by my friends meant more to me than good grades,” shares Mandy. “I graduated high school and tried college, but spent most of my time partying, so I dropped out.”
“I got married at 19,” says Mandy. “My husband was in the military so we moved around a lot. Once our daughter Victoria was born, I struggled to adjust and found myself abusing prescription drugs. Things got worse when I discovered my husband had an affair. We divorced and Victoria and I moved in with my parents who lived in Tennessee.”
Where it Started
“For as long as I can remember, my mom took prescription pain medication,” says Mandy. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was abusing these drugs.” This influenced Mandy more than she realized. Soon, it became her way of coping, too.
“The day my mom died changed my life,” recalls Mandy. “We lived with my parents at the time and after getting Victoria ready for school, I discovered my mom. She was unconscious.” Mandy attempted CPR, as did paramedics when they arrived, but it was too late. They could not save her.
Death and Life
“My mom was my best friend,” shares Mandy. “After she died, I was lost. I took a lot of anxiety medicine and spent the next few days in a fog.” Shortly thereafter, Mandy learned she was pregnant and immediately stopped taking drugs. “My daughter Scarlett saved my life. If I had not gotten pregnant with her, I know drugs would have killed me.”
“Because Scarlett was delivered via C-section, they prescribed pain medication,” says Mandy. “I was instantly addicted and it was easy to abuse it. Four months later, I learned I was pregnant again during a routine doctor’s visit. I think it was God’s way of keeping me alive because He knew I would not use drugs during my pregnancy. This time, my son Maverick saved my life.”
From Fear to Faith
Mandy and her boyfriend Gene had been together for several years. They were in love, and while they had two children together, they had never gotten married. Mandy grew up in fear of God, but attending church was still important to her. Every Sunday, she and Gene would gather all three kids and head to church.
“Gene and I both started to hear God’s voice,” says Mandy, “In January 2010, we met with our pastor, gave our lives to Christ and made plans to get married a few weeks later. We were baptized on Easter Sunday and ready to start a new life in Christ together.” Things were good, but Mandy was still abusing prescription drugs. She had no idea how bad her addiction was until it was too late.
Blessing in Disguise
“I don’t remember getting in the car,” says Mandy. “All I remember is waking up in the hospital.” Mandy was under the influence of prescription drugs when she had a horrible car accident. Her daughters Victoria and Scarlett, along with two of their friends were in the car.
“Scarlett’s leg was broken and it was my fault,” says Mandy. The other driver also suffered a broken leg. “Once my ex-husband heard what happened, he wanted Victoria to come and stay with him in Ohio. “Victoria was diagnosed with diabetes when she was just nine. It required major lifestyle changes and I knew she would need more stability than I could provide at the time, so I agreed to let her go live with her dad.”
Two days after being released from the hospital, the police came to Mandy’s house and charged her with DUI, along with five counts of aggravated assault. She served 30 days in jail. “I would have served a year but the judge agreed to let me go to the Hope Center,” says Mandy. “My first day in the Mission’s life-recovery program was on the anniversary of my mom’s death.”
New Life Begins
“There are so many wonderful things I could say about the Hope Center and how the life-recovery program saved my life,” says Mandy. “I thought I knew God, but I didn’t. Through the recovery classes, studying the Bible and praying, I was no longer fearful. Over time, I developed a personal relationship with Him.”
“God has blessed me,” shares Mandy. “After I graduated, I returned home to my husband Gene, and our two precious children Scarlett and Maverick.” Mandy started looking for a job, but was afraid no one would hire her.
“God opened the door for me to get not just a job, but to do something I love—cook. I dropped my application off at a local restaurant and they called me in to interview the same day. I was completely open with them about my background and they hired me on the spot. I’m so grateful they were willing to give me a chance.”
“I count my blessings every day,” shares Mandy. “I have much to be thankful for. The only thing missing in my life is my daughter, Victoria. I pray God will bring us back together one day soon. I miss her so much.”
“The Mission’s life-recovery program saved me,” says Mandy. “It changed my children’s lives. My husband got his wife back. It influenced my family and many others in positive ways—there’s just no way to measure it.”
“To those who donate, please know your gifts help more than just one person—you are helping families, friends and the entire community. Your gifts have the power to change the course of many lives. Thank you so much for giving and helping change my life!”